Indiana Hoosiers forward Max Bielfeldt has the biggest calves in the NCAA. If you don't believe me, just ask ESPN announcer Dan Dakich. Calves alone do not make a basketball player however. If they did, Bielfeldt would be a first round pick. Instead, he may struggle to find his way into the NBA draft.
Bielfeldt spent four years at the University of Michigan before transferring to Indiana for his fifth an final year. His first three years with the maize and blue were spent on the bench while his final year was spent in the rotation at forward. He was a consistent presence on the team, but never seemed able to step into a major role for the Wolverines, even during the team's underwhelming 2014-'15 campaign.
Nonetheless, Bielfeldt hit the ground running in Bloomington. Coming off the bench and providing a spark, Bielfeldt averaged 8.2 points and 4.5 rebounds on route to earning Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year. While some may see this as a product of age, his role in Indiana's offense was perfect for the style of player he is.
Bielfeldt is undersized for the power forward position. Standing at 6-foot-8 and 240 lbs, he is often over matched when facing larger forwards. At Michigan, Bielfeldt was used in the pick-and-roll a lot. His thick frame makes him tough to get around when defending against the screen. Most of his rebounds and gritty and he is not afraid to attack the rim.
At Indiana, Tom Crean let Bielfeldt stretch the floor a little more. Bielfeldt does not have the athleticism to play outside but did shoot 45 percent from three last season. Teams won't be looking at Bielfeldt to contribute on the wing however. Bielfeldt is not generally a back to the basket power forward. Most of his buckets come in transition or in spot up shooting situations. Expanding and developing a set of post moves will only help Bielfeldt moving forward.
As far as making a serious impact in the NBA, it's probably unlikely.
Though he did show signs of improvement in his final year at Indiana, he just doesn't have the raw skills that some of the NBA's bigger prospects possess. Now, he has the makings of someone who may be able to continue their basketball career, just maybe not in the NBA. Bielfeldt's ceiling is most likely the NBA Developmental League. He will likely go undrafted but should get a look on someones Summer League team. Europe is a solid option for Bielfeldt.
His best route to American professional basketball would be a similar path to that of former Michigan big man Jordan Morgan. Morgan went undrafted and played professionally in Italy and France before signing with the Canton Charge of the NBA D-League. There is plenty of professional basketball out there and some team would be lucky to acquire the talents of Max Bielfeldt.